Friday, September 29, 2006

The Grateful Housecleaning, CEI Style

So Cardinals Bertone and Ruini had a little chat yesterday. And this morning, each went back to work -- Bertone to make his first address to the diplomatic corps accredited to the Holy See, Ruini to take care of yet another ally as he enters his last days in office as the papal vicar of Rome and all-powerful president of the CEI, the Italian episcopal conference.

This morning, Benedict XVI named Msgr Sergio Pintor as bishop of the Italian diocese of Ozieri. What makes the appointment notable are two things: the bishop-elect has served until now as director of the CEI's office for the pastoral outreach in health care and he'll be 69 in November, which is not the typical age for someone getting his first episcopal assignment.

Of course, with the 75 year-old Ruini's departure from the top of his empire foreseen to take place not long after the 4th Nationl Convocation of the Italian Church in mid-October, it's time to take care of the widows, and Pintor's the second so cared for in exactly a month; the first was Archbishop Angelo Bagnasco, previously Italy's military ordinary and head of the governing body of the CEI's daily paper, Avvenire, who was named to succeed Bertone as archbishop of Genoa. Now in line for a red hat thanks to his new post, Bagnasco was installed on San Siro's Chair on Tuesday.

Intriguingly enough, both Pintor and today's other appointee, Giacomo Lanzetti, an auxiliary of Torino now promoted to the diocese of Alghero-Bosa, have ties to Catholic Action. The AC, Ruini's long-favored movement, has become aligned over the years with the Italian Right, now politically comprised of a gaggle of parties formed from the rib of the colussus which was once Christian Democracy.

There will likely be more -- given Ruini's close ties with this Pope, he'll get what he wishes -- so stay tuned.

AP/Pier Paolo Cito